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Communications company may face legal challenge to residential cell phone tower installation

5/15/2012 | Real Estate Blog

After finding that a communications company installed on the front of their lawns the beginnings of what will become cell phone poles, a handful of residents in Bucks County are reportedly warning other homeowners around the Philadelphia area and across the state that they may be next. According to sources, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission approved the installation of 12 metal poles on the properties. The company installing the poles gained the rights to do so from the Public Utility Commission back in 2008.

The “certificates of public convenience” supporting the project allow the company to occupy easements without paying rent and without having to answer to local zoning laws. Neither do they have an expiration date. Sources said that as of last June, there were 93 companies across the state providing wholesale services like the company involved in the project.

Interestingly, the neighborhoods where the poles were installed prohibit the installation of aboveground utilities. Northampton Township already fought the project in Bucks County Court and lost. The group of residents, however, knew nothing about the company’s plans or the township’s lawsuit.

Typically, residents who are affected by zoning cases are notified about hearings, but not in this case. The group is now reportedly looking to present a legal challenge against the raising of the towers. Among other concerns, the residents are worried the project may make their properties less appealing for sale and decrease their value.

Those who have concerns about zoning matters often consult an attorney to determine the best course of action.

Source: Philadelphia Inquirer, “Cell phone tower battle waged in Bucks County,” Bill Reed, May, 14, 2012